Soviet Extends Scope of Government Department’s Aid to Jewish Population

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

The scope and function of the Comzet, the Soviet Government department to aid the declassed Jewish population in Soviet Russia, which has hitherto engaged only in colonization work, was extended by a special decree of the Central Executive Committee, signed by Michael Kalinin, president of the Soviet Union.

The decree published today authorizes the Comzet also to engage in aiding Jewish artisans by facilitating their work with the supply of tools and in marketing their products. The step signifies the intention of the Soviet Government to further the industrialization of the declassed Jewish groups on a basis equal to that of the Jewish colonization work.

In a statement issued today by the Comzet to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, it was declared: “Although the Comzet will still concentrate on the Jewish colonization work, plans are being prepared for Jewish industrialization. The Comzet will retain its name, althought it is suggestive of only the land settlement part of its work. However, it will no longer confine itself to land questions, but will seek to establish the small town Jews in artisan cooperatives and in various branches of industry.

“Two large glass factories will shortly be erected in Volhynia to ease the position of the Jews there. One factory will be built at Polone and the other at Krasnastov, employing about 800 Jews. Jewish youths will also be employed in the sugar refineries.

“Two tailoring factories, one at Mohilev and another at Bobruisk, will be started, to employ from 600 to 800 Jews.

“The Ukrainian commissariat of labor has signed an agreement with the Don Coal Trust, providing for the employment of small town Jews in the Donetz coal mines,” the statement declares.

In connection with the planned industrialization process, much hope is placed here in the Ort’s agreement with the Soviet Government to import machinery and raw materials into the country. The first consignments of cotton have already arrived at Minsk for the Jewish stocking makers. Three machines which the Ort sent to the Jewish shoemaking cooperative have arrived. Additional machinery for making handkerchiefs, fancy goods and clothing are expected to arrive shortly, the Ort headquarters here stated.

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